Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sleep Stats

SO I am confused.......Brett is nearly 4 months old and STILL isn't sleeping through the night! I am a HUGE schedule person and I (we) have had Brett on a pretty strict schedule for a while now. BUT, despite our consistencies he is so INconsistent!

Every night ( and I mean EVERY night) we do bath time at 7:30 and bottle/bed at 8. This means even on a Friday night, going out to dinner is scheduled for 6 or 6:30 so we can get back home and start "the routine". Every thing I have read/googled/ or been told says that babies need a routine and this is the key to getting them to sleep through the night. WELL, we have done this and Brett still wakes up 2 times in the middle of the night. Well, actually he will sleep 8-4 one night then wakes up at 1 and 5 the next night, and then he will wake up at 3 the night after that! He always goes back to sleep until around 7, but never sleeps straight through.  This is what I  mean about inconsistent! The only thing I can guess is that he is a growing boy and he is hungry- did I mention he wakes up to eat? And I know he is hungry becuase Im his mom :)

I remember when we were in the first few, glassy-eyed weeks of new parenthood. Brett was always great about going to sleep (and still is) but would wake up every 2 hours. I told myself once we hit 12 weeks he will be going longer...well 12 weeks came and went and so did 13 14 and 15 and other than  a few blissful nights of sleeping 8-5, there has been no "sleeping through the night".

I know this is minor compared to some parents who have babies who have a hard time going to sleep or wake up more than 2 times, but I just thought babies slept through the night by 4 months.  Maybe I'm too idealistic, but I know lots of babies start sleeping through the night earlier than 4 months. I'm just glad that I'm working from home n0w, so when we do have a rough night I don't have to worry too much.

2 weeks ago I was desperate for more than 3 hours of consecutive sleep and decided to try the cry it out method. This goes against everything I believe, but I said I would give it a shot.
Supposedly babies take 3 days/nights to learn something new- and they need to learn to sleep all night without eating. This method said put the baby down after your nightly routine (bath, bottle etc) close the door, and DO NOT OPEN IT UNTIL 7 AM! Yeah- almost cried when I read this, but the Dr's recommending this swore that this was good for the baby and they would be OK.

Well we did this...he woke up once cried for a few minutes and went back to sleep until 7! I was shocked but it actually worked. The same thing the next night and the 3rd night he didn't wake up at all! This continued for 2 nights and then he started waking up again and cried a really sad cry and I caved...I just couldn't do it anymore and I knew there was a better way.

So we are still waking up a few times a night, but I would rather do that than hear him cry :(

Anyways, if anyone has any advice I'm all ears. We have tried giving him cereal, mixing formula in his bottle and just plain feeding him more, but he still wakes up.....

I know he will eventually grow out of it, but I'm hoping its before he goes to kindergarten!


  1. I am anti-cry it out method! They stop crying because they give up hope and go into despair that the people who are supposed to be there for him are not there. It is biologically programmed into all babies to stop crying after so long to preserve energy and because the emotional upset makes wears them out. NO child should have to fall asleep from being emotionally upset every night! There is nothing natural about this method. Their feelings are very real to them and it is just not right for us to do this to them, no matter how much we want to be on schedules or sleep. Part of being a mom is putting the baby's well-being first and foremost. As for the doctor who told you that- he is in the dark ages! Numerous studies have been published about those who use this method and NONE of them show that this method is good for babies!
    As for typical baby sleep patterns- it all depends on the child. I know parents to breastfeed on demand and refuse any sort of schedule who have babies who sleep 10 hours every night at 3 months old. I did the same with my son and he did not sleep more than 5 hours straight until around 5 months, then he slept around 6 hours until around 8 months. He did not start sleeping more than 8 hours until around 11 months old. Every baby is different.
    That being said- you are a GREAT mommy and everything I mentioned was said in good spirits- I know you want what is best for him so listen to your heart!

  2. Thanks Jenn! I too read the studies on babies crying it out (after we tried it) and I agree! I cant bear for him to feel like no one is there for him! I would rather wake up 10 times than have him be sad! Ive heard alot of people mention 5 months so Ill hang on for that day! :)

  3. Hey Sarah! We did something with georgia called a 'dream feed'. We would go in her room about 10:30 or 11, chance her diaper, give her a 4 oz. bottle (just to top her off), burp her, then put her back down. We never woke her up and most of the time she would never even open her eyes. If he's only hungry, he should still be tired enough to where he doesn't want to wake up. Georgia would eat and burp and hardly make a peep. Then we'd put her back in her crib and that was that until 7 am. trust me, 11-7 is much better! and she actually dropped the dream feed on her own at about 4 1/2 months. this might just help him too! let me know if you have any other questions about it! Y

  4. I couold've written this exact post! I just downloaded some different books onto my Kindle to try and figure this out! Hope you get some good responses :)

  5. Hey sweet friend - I don't really have any advice (sorry!) but just wanted to encourage you that every baby is so different, and as soon as you think you have it figured out and they are "sleeping through the night" something will happen to end it (teething, growth spurt, deciding it's more fun to wake up mommy at 2am . . . ) Anyways, you're doing a great job and are an awesome mommy and I know he will start letting you sleep more SOON! (ps when jayci was 4 months old until she was 5 months old(ish) she seriously just decided NOT to go to sleep ever and it took us HOURS to get her to bed every night) . . . just remember, everything is a phase! :-)

  6. I would never leave a baby to cry all night and not go back in until 7am, especially at Brett's age. But, there is something behind crying it out. They can develop habits and just wake up because they know you will come in and pick them up. Glad he is sleeping better. It comes in phases. 4 months will prob be miserable... fyi

  7. Hey Sarah! I'm so glad Brett did it! Now you know he can - so that's the hard part. In my opinion, at 4 months, the baby is old enough now to kind of manipulate us :) He knows that if he cries, you'll come in. What I did (I was scared of the cry it out method too) was when she cried, I'd let her cry for like 10 minutes. Then I would go back in, but never take her back out of the crib, and love on her, give her her passie back, sing her a song, and leave again. This was to put her down w/o rocking her. I did that for about 2-3 nights for about 1 hr each - and voila - she is asleep w/in 15 minutes usually, and sleeps 12 hours.

    I"d never be ok letting her cry all night- just in 10 minute increments! (I was much better when Sam was home too - if it was just me, I gave in).

    Call me, or skype. We can talk more about it! I love you!

  8. Hey Sarah! I was nodding the entire time I was reading your post!!! I think Parker is just a couple weeks older than Brett and we are dealing with a very similar situation. However, I think we all get sucked into the books/the studies/what our friends' kids did/etc and there really isn't the "one perfect thing" that will make our babies sleep like angels!

    I kept thinking to myself, "At 3 months Parker will be sleeping 12 hours a night and I will be so rested!". Of course that didn't happen. I tried rice cereal, crying it out, etc. And then all of sudden, things clicked like 3 weeks ago.

    I usually feed Parker around 6pm, we do a bath around 7pm and then I feed him again at 8pm and put him down for the night. He usually sleeps until about 4-4:30am. I'll feed him again and put him back down and he'll sleep until about 8am. If he wakes up before having slept 7 hours I do let him cry. He usually settles himself within a couple min. We have certainly had nights when he wakes up after only being down for 3 or 4 hours. I know he's not hungry, and just needs to settle himself. He's never cried more than 10 or so min. In the morning, Parker takes about a 30-45 min nap and in the afternoon, he is taking a 2-2.5 hour nap. I don't know how it happened, it just did!! I put him in his crib for his afternoon nap and it just worked.

    You have to remember though, that every single baby is different though and what works for one baby doesn't necessarily work for the next. Hang in there!!! I know it can be totally exhausting!!